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February 27, 2014
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March 4, 2014

Empowering communities

by Pamela Nathan

Re: NACCHO political alert: Elite “Empowered Communities” unit to drive Noel Pearson’s national Aboriginal reforms, published on 6 February 2014, in relation to Patricia Karvelas’ report in The Australian, ‘Elite unit to drive Noel Pearson indigenous reforms’.

This article reports that ‘sixteen of the most powerful indigenous and business leaders as well as top-ranking bureaucrats have been appointed to oversee a radical plan devised by Noel Pearson to empower Aboriginal communities and ensure that funding delivers real gains on the ground’.

Noel Pearson has a strong track record of success in achieving such gains in the important work he has carried out with the Cape York Welfare Reform. I was fortunate enough to see these results first-hand when I visited the Cape York Institute and Family Responsibilities Commission, a number of communities at Hopevale and Mossman Gorge and Commissioners engaged in reform. Both the Cape York Welfare Reform and CASSE’s Aboriginal Australian Relations Program are centred around empowering communities to achieve real and lasting change. Noel Pearson’s plan may be considered ‘radical’, but empowering communities makes absolute sense.